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family court without a solicitor. any info available?

(7 Posts)
viperslast Wed 16-Oct-13 11:15:19

Hi, a friend of mine has just split up with his gf (not the mother of his child) because of the reason for the break up (nothing to do with dc) the mother is denying him contact with his child.

I saw some information on here about going through family court without representation but I can't find it now. Can anyone point me in the right direction please?

lostdad Wed 16-Oct-13 12:44:12

One of thing you can do is use a McKenzie Friend - an assistant who is not a solicitor or barrister. They vary from being glorified note takes all the way to those who gain rights of audience at hearings to assist the court (becoming more common now there are more litigants in person). Some of them are legally qualified too however. They can do a lot of the stuff a solicitor or barrister but they cannot act as your agent or litigate for you, neither do they have automatic rights of audience in court - meaning you are likely to have to speak for yourself in court (not that daunting if you have someone good to assist you - and most judges are pretty forgiving of anyone not knowing the procedure so long as you are polite and respectful.

Some of them are professional and charge. Google `McKenzie Friend' to find them. FNF have a list of them on their website.

Make sure you ask anyone you speak to about their background, experience, references, etc.

Collaborate Wed 16-Oct-13 13:53:46

lost dad: unless I'm very much mistaken a MF has no right of audience (OP see the practice direction here:Practice Direction)

One thing your friend could do is (if they have any money to spend on advice) target their funds carefully. If they need help with drawing up papers see if a solicitor will do that for a fixed fee. If they need help at a hearing again see if a solicitor will offer a fixed fee, or instruct a barrister who accepts direct access.

mumsforjustice Thu 17-Oct-13 19:38:20

Cab are very good and you get 3 free consultations. Use the main family court cab if you are in london. Agree too with collaborates points.
Lostdad: you should be transparent on your posts that you are part of fnf. Nothing wrong with it but you should be upfront with your affiliation so ops are clear.

mumsforjustice Thu 17-Oct-13 19:40:07

Forgot to say, collaborate is right mf have limited roles in court. There is a practise guidance note on this that you can google that gives details.

balia Thu 17-Oct-13 20:08:54

Erm...Lostdad said that MK's don't have rights of audience...and if he is part of FNF, why should HE have to reveal that if other posters don't have to reveal that they are part of a law firm? We all know who is making more money out of family breakdown.

FWIW I would wholeheartedly recommend FNF in fact here and I have no 'part' in them. But DH joined them when he had run out of money and was desparately trying to get decent contact with his son and they were brilliant. It is frightening to go it alone but the judges were always great with DH.

mumsforjustice Fri 18-Oct-13 08:14:15

Actually I think all posters who are affiliates with organizations should be transparent and state this. Most of the solicitors on here are giving advice not touting for business, although they often recommend getting legal advice but that is often good advice (The only thing I have ever seen is in response to recommendations for example)
As noted nothing wrong with fnf and glad you had a good experience, but recommending your own organization as if you are a third party is not transparent esp if op is new to mumsnet.

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